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Friday, June 28, 2013
Man dies in Brazil-Uruguay protests

ESPN staff

A man died as protesters clashed with police before Brazil's Confederations Cup semi-final against Uruguay this week, authorities have confirmed to the Associated Press.

• Brewin: FIFA must change

The demonstrator, 21-year-old Douglas Henrique Oliveira, died from head injuries suffered when he fell from a walkway near the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte. Another man fell from the walkway, suffering only minor injuries.

Tens of thousands took to the streets of the city to demonstrate against the government, claiming corruption and calling for reforms, and the high cost of hosting the 2014 World Cup at an increasingly difficult time for Brazil's economy.

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets as a crowd of around 50,000 marched towards the stadium to protest. Reports said one demonstrator had been hit in the eye by a rubber bullet.

Around 20 people were thought to have been injured, while police made around 30 arrests. The demonstration saw damage caused in the city centre, with shops wrecked and cars and other vehicles set alight.

Anti-government - and anti-World Cup - slogans were sprayed on walls. "FIFA go home," several read.

Protests have taken place in the six cities hosting the Confederations Cup, and Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar said the players had been aware of what had been happening as they beat Uruguay 2-1.

He said: "We tried to focus only on the match. We understand what Brazil is going through, and it's normal that these protests take some of the focus away from the Confederations Cup.

"But there are times that the players need to worry about their job on the field."

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